NASA to build a satellite with ISRO

#NASA #ISRO #satellite #Earth #imaging #NISAR #space

NASA and ISRO will be teaming up to build the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite, an Earth imaging satellite. The project cost will be close to $1.5 billion.

NISAR is the first big collaboration between NASA and ISRO, certainly on RADAR but just in general as well. This is two frequency RADAR, it is an L-band 24 centimeter RADAR and S-band 13 centimeter. S-band is being built by ISRO and L-band by NASA.

The satellite is scheduled to be launched in 2021 using the Geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV).

The satellite will be used to take snapshots of the Earth, images of the motion of tectonic plates, of ice sheets, of agricultural land changes and forests. Also include natural disasters like earthquakes, volcano eruptions and sea level rise.

Read the full article here

This is an amazing opportunity for India to collaborate with US and vice versa, sharing technologies and developing more cost-effective space programs!

World’s lightest satellite ‘KalamSat’ designed

#space #NASA #satellite #lightestSatellite #KalamSat #India #spacecraft

Rifath Sharook, an 18-year old student from a small town in Tamil Nadu, India, has invented the lightest satellite in the world. His invention, named KalamSat, will take flight and enter space when it is launched by NASA on June 21 from Wallops Island, a NASA facility in the US.

The satellite is named after the renowned Indian space scientist and former Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam. The flight on June 21 will be sub-orbital and post launch, the mission span is to be for four hours and his satellite will operate for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space.

The main role of the satellite is to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fiber. The satellite ‘KalamSat’ was selected through the “Cubes in Space” competition organized by I Doodle Learning and NASA.

The satellite is a four centimeters cube and weighs 64 grams.

Read the full article here.

Wow! This is amazing. A satellite that can fit in the palm of your hand.

First military launch by SpaceX

#Military #SpaceX #space #satellite #US #NationalReconnaissanceOffice #rocket

SpaceX will be launching classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which makes and operates spy satellites for the US. Details regarding the payload haven’t been revealed, and the payload is only known as NROL-76. The mission will be using SpaceX Falcon 9 re-usable rocket, which will be blasted from Cape Canaveral, Florida between 7 am and 9 am on Sunday.

SpaceX, headed by Elon Musk, has already made successful landings using the re-usable rocket and this will be it’s first mission for the US military.

US military spends billions of dollars per year only to launch government satellites, and had been unfairly awarding all such contracts to United Launch Alliance until now.

Read the full article here

This is a great step for SpaceX, which if successful can mean millions of dollars in savings for the military.


NASA finds ‘lost’ Chandrayaan-1

#NASA #Chandrayaan1 #LunarMission #moon #space #InterplanetaryRadar #satellite

India’s first lunar mission – Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which was generally considered lost – is still orbiting the Moon, NASA scientists have found with new technological application of their interplanetary radar.

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft on August 29, 2009, not even a year after it was launched (October 22, 2008).

NASA determined the 1.5 m cube satellite was still orbiting the moon at a distance of 200 kms from the surface. NASA mentioned that optical telescopes are unable to search for small objects hidden in the bright glare of the moon, however with the interplanetary radar, NASA was able to spot the spacecraft.

Initially the researchers weren’t certain that the interplanetary radar would be able to detect the spacecraft because of its small size and its distance from Earth, but Chandrayaan-1 proved the perfect target for demonstrating the capability of the radar.

Read the full article here.

Preventing a collision with Mars moon

#NASA #Mars #MAVEN #satellite #space #Earth

According to computer models, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) orbiter was expected to miss Mar’s moon Phobos by just 7 seconds on March 6th.

However, considering this too great a risk for the $671 million orbiter, the mission controllers fired its rocket engine enough to increase its velocity by 0.4 meters per second, which in turn changed the time period to 2.5 minutes between the orbiter and satellite Phobos. Maneuvers like this will  likely become more common as the traffic to Mars increases.

Since most objects on such collision courses are too fast for the human eye, and hence orbital models are used to predict a close pass, which in turn provides a warning to the satellite operator or operators involved.

Mars currently has only six spacecraft orbiting it, whereas Earth has more than 1,400 operational man-made satellites. Many of these Earth Satellites are CubeSats with dimensions of 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm. Such satellites are hard to control and track, which might possess a problem in the future if the number keeps on increasing.

Read the full article here.

China on India’s record of sending 104 satellites

#India #China #Space #ISRO #Satellite #Record

The Chinese government had previously described India’s Mars orbiter mission as The Pride of Asia and had said that it would be keen to work more closely with India on space projects.

However, on Thursday, also mentioned that “the space race is not mainly about the number of satellites at one go. It’s fair to say the significance of this achievement is limited. In this regard, Indian scientists know more than the Indian public, who are encouraged by media reports.”

It also added that it was “a hard-won achievement for India to reach current space technology level with a relatively small investment.” and also pointed out that the US Space budget in 2013 was $39.3 billion, China $6.1 billion, Russia $5.3 billion, Japan $3.6 billion and India $1.2 billion.

It also mentioned that “as a hierarchical society, India has both world-class elite and a largest number of poor people. Many lessons can be drawn from India. As a rising power, it has done a good job. It is ambitious but pragmatic, preferring to compare with others as an incentive to progress.”

Read the full article here.

(Also, PLEASE beware of the articles that might highlight all the negative points mentioned in the article rather than the positive ones. Some media sources just want to heighten the curiosity and there readership, even if it means hiding or bending the actual facts.)

3 rovers to Moon in one rocket! by ISRO

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XI (PSLV-X1) on December 28th, 2017. This will be India’s first private mission to the moon by Team Indus. The rocket will be flying with three rovers, in which two are from Japan and one belongs to Team Indus.

The PSLV-XL has already launched 20 satellites together, on June 22nd, 2016. But this will be the first time that it will demonstrate its capability of carrying three rovers placed inside a lander. On January 27th, 2017 the rocket will launch 83 satellites in a single mission.

Team Indus’s new rover is Solar powered and the mission duration is one lunar day, an equivalent of 14 Earth days. The rover can carry up to a load of 20kg. Read the full article here.

China launched satellite to monitor global carbon emissions

On Thursday, China launched a global Carbon Dioxide monitoring satellite to understand climate change. The satellite, TanSat, weighs 620 kgs and was put into orbit by Long March-2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China’s Gobi Desert. The satellite was put into a sun synchronous orbit about 700 kms above the Earth (ISS flies at a distance of 400 km from Earth). Besides the TanSat system, the satellite also has a high-resolution micro-nano satellite and two spectrum micro-nano satellites for agricultural and forestry monitoring.

Surprisingly, this was the 243rd mission of the Long March series rockets.

After Japan and the United States, China is the third country to monitor greenhouse gases through its own satellite. Such satellites help understand the climate change and provide the countries with their independent data. The TanSat is set to examine global carbon dioxide levels every 16 days, and accurate to 4 ppm (parts per million).

China’s CO2 emissions are to peak around 2030, with emissions per unit of GDP cut by 60 percent of 2005 levels. Read the full article here.

Japan launches junk collector in space for Trial

The space has been accumulating cosmic junk caused by over half a century of space exploration. Around more than 500,000 pieces of “space junk” are being tracked by NASA currently. This “space junk” includes millions of tiny fragments of old satellites and spent rocket stages. Not only that, but many of these fragments travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, which can cause a great deal of damage on a satellite or even the ISS.

Due to the potential problem of a collision of space junk, many space agencies are trying to figure out a solution. Japan’s space agency (JAXA) launched Kounotori 6 on Friday, that will deliver a magnetic tether. The tether is made of stainless steel and aluminum. The true purpose of the tether is to generate enough slowing effect to influence the trajectory of space debris, and let it redirect it towards Earth’s atmosphere. After travelling close to Earth’s atmosphere, the space debris will burn up.

Currently the length of the tether is 700 meters only. If the trial is successful then the length will eventually increase to 5,000 or 10,000 meters said Nitto Seimo’s engineer Katsuya Suzuki.

Read the full article here!